Women Can Now Test Their Fertility At Home. I Tried It

Drip, drip. Drip, drip. Small droplets of blood fall from my finger into the tiny test tube. Pricking myself with the needle was less painful than I’d expected, but gathering the sample is a slow process. The pamphlet tells me it can take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on blood flow, and some women need to prick twice.

As I stand alone in my bathroom, afraid to look away in case I spill a drop, the thing that’s keeping me going is the idea this might help answer a big question: when should I have a baby?

The hormone test is part of Grip, a new at-home ‘fertility MOT’ launching in the UK on March 1, and it’s designed to rule out the four main risk factors that make it harder for women to get pregnant: ovulation issues (often linked to polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS), blocked fallopian tubes, thyroid issues, and low ovarian reserve – ie. the remaining number of eggs in your ovaries.

The test won’t tell you if you will or won’t get pregnant, but it might influence some life choices. “Think of your Grip test as a risk profile, rather than a yes or no answer,” the website tells me. “If you know your risks when you’re still young, then you still have all the options to do something about them.”

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